Deadline for our January 2005 issue: December 25.
We wish each and every one of you a safe and healthy holiday season. Consider now what your New Year's Resolution for economic justice action will be, and tell us so that we can share it with other readers. If you are affiliated with a Georgist organization, please tell us what that group's top priorities for 2005 will be, or should be. You can always reach the Georgist News at email@example.com
CONTENTS: (to return here just click the headline)
CGO Administrator Sue Walton offers you these remarks:
Georgist Tony Vickers of Landvaluescape.org has recently been voted onto the UK Association for Geographic Information's governing council. Vickers will take up his appointment in 2005.
Meanwhile, Vickers is inviting your opinion on a specific topic. Here is how he describes the situation:
"Government's role should be to 'let it all happen'. Instead of allowing publicly funded geo-data production agencies to 'play shop', there should be a fundamental review of the way GI (geographic information) is managed in the UK.
"Ironically we need to think less about maps and more about e-government
information if we are to get the data fit for many purposes such as value
At http://www.landvaluescape.org/archives/Rd3Q.doc is the form for you to complete if you want to help develop my Action Plan. Return completed form to me by email before 20 December."
Please help Tony Vickers, particularly if you have any familiarity with mapping, municipal information gathering, or the United Kingdom.
GN Comments: Here is an interesting item found by Ed Dodson of the School of Cooperative Individualism.
Growth Management Acts (GMAs) are used by some states and counties to limit uncontrolled growth that proponents say facilitates "urban sprawl." But in many cases, GMAs are not too effective at controlling growth, and are often influenced by rent-seekers, says Randall G. Holcombe, a professor of economics at Florida State University and Chairman of the Research Advisory Council at the James Madison Institute.
While Oregon has had moderate success with their GMA, Florida has been quite another story. The state passed a GMA in 1985 which was designed to work like the GMA that was passed in Oregon in 1973, but according to observers has fallen short of its intended goals, says Holcombe:
Despite the relative ineffectiveness of Florida's Growth Management Act, the plan has imposed higher costs on developers, made housing less affordable for consumers and created incentives for economic development to go outside of the state to less restrictive areas, says Holcombe.
Source: Randall G. Holcombe, "Why Has Florida's Growth Management Act Been Ineffective," James Madison Institute, Spring/Summer 2004.
by Lindy Davies, Program Director
To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffery Smith of the Forum on Geonomics seeks your help. Here's his message:
Beneath each one is the footer: www.geonomics.org
Well, can you help? Many thanks for your consideration. Send your reactions to email@example.com
GN Comments: Of course you know that the 2005 CGO conference will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Advance planners are already thinking about the 2006 conference, to be held in Chicago, Illinois. Here are some notes from Scott Walton:
The initial planning meeting for the 2006 conference will be held in January, 2005. We'd like your input as to what kinds of things you'd like to see and do in Chicago. The local hosts are considering the possibility of an optional (extra cost) elevated train tour version of the famous Economist Bus Tour of Chicago, to be held on the last day of the conference. Since this tour would take a lot of time to organize, please contact Scott Walton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chuck Metalitz (email@example.com), if you would be interested in such a tour. Add any other ideas and suggestions that you might have.
The Council of Georgist Organizations member directory has been updated. You can browse the listing online at:
Do you notice any mistakes? Please send any adjustments or corrections to Lindy Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, before the printed version of this directory is created. We want all your information to be perfect.
GN Comments: The leading "place your old junk up for auction" web site, eBay, featured an unusual item recently - the City of Philadelphia's "Business Privilege" Tax. Some wise guys at the group Philadelphia Forward, which supports land value taxation and other smart measures to help the decaying city revitalize its economy, took it upon themselves to place this tax up for auction.
For more information, see Philadelphia Forward's web site at http://www.philadelphiaforward.com/
During the seven-day offering period, no one made a bid. Not even the Philadelphia politicians who oppose tax reform and embrace the outdated business privilege tax.
Philadelphia Forward generated some publicity from their move to "auction off" one of their city's worst taxes. What could Georgists do with this idea, or something like it? Can we build on that clever Philadelphia Forward campaign in ways that would bring favorable publicity to us, and negative attention to monopoly and special privilege?
GN Comments: Bishop James Jones has called for a fundamental tax shift. Read all about it in The Progress Report's reprint of an article from The Guardian (UK):
by Hanno T. Beck
During the last four weeks I have heard and read quite a bit about the "weak U.S. dollar" and how it is expected to continue to weaken because nobody thinks that the Bush administration will do anything serious to curtail the nation's trade deficit.
You too have probably heard a good deal on this topic. We can discuss and debate these points enjoyably, I am sure, but I wonder precisely what we, as Georgists, can say to the average non-Georgist on this subject?
Is there a brief but telling statement that we can make in conversation with our friends and neighbors, that sheds light on the "weak dollar" subject and portrays Georgism as a more sensible paradigm than the current jumble?
If you dare, write something - in 100 words or less, can you get our points across? We hope to show you some good examples in the near future. Send yours to email@example.com
If we receive more than three entries, there will be a prize. Enter as many times as you wish. Thank you!
GN Comments: One of the clear lessons of the "Election Day" events in the United States on November 2nd, is the urgent need for pro-democracy reforms in the U.S. Here is an announcement, forwarded to us by Jeff Smith of the Forum on Geonomics, naming two important pieces of pro-democracy legislation that deserve support from all patriotic Americans and anyone who favors honesty over corruption.
"House Resolution 5293 would require states to conduct general elections for Federal office using an instant runoff voting system.
"House Joint Resolution 109 would amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College and provide for direct election of the president by majority vote."
GN Comments: Please read this announcement and put forward some of your favorite Georgists. I know that the sponsors are a first-class organization.
Leadership for a Changing World is a program of the Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Washington-based Advocacy Institute and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Nominations will be accepted by the Advocacy Institute through January 7, 2005. Leaders must be nominated by someone who is well acquainted with their work and can attest to their qualifications.
To find out who the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 Leadership for a Changing World
awardees are, to request a brochure, or for more information on the program, go
Specific questions can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (202) 777-7560, or by writing to Leadership for a Changing World, Advocacy Institute, 1629 K St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006-1629.
GN Comments: Greg LeRoy of the group "Good Jobs First" is circulating this announcement to "All Groups Promoting Accountable Economic Development and Smart Growth for Working Families."
Join a broad range of groups working at many levels - community groups, labor unions, living wage campaigns, state tax and budget activists, citizen action coalitions, elected and development officials, environmentalists and smart growth advocates, and university, labor and popular educators.
Meet the people behind some of the most important efforts at reforming the use of state and local economic development subsidies, and at promoting smart growth for working families. The conference will include a broad variety of workshops and plenaries on organizing models, research, and hot topics such as community benefits agreements.
The conference will be held at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel. If you
already know you are likely to come, please respond to
More information will be available later.
GN Comments: The group Good Jobs First honestly tries to encourage economic development spending to be targeted toward jobs and sensible policies, rather than toward corporate welfare handouts and corruption. They seek to make corporate subsidies less deleterious, rather than seeking to abolish them outright; although that is not the Georgist view, there are compatibilities and good possibilities for spreading the Georgist message among these activists.
Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I should love to satisfy all, if I possibly can; but in trying to satisfy all, I
may be able to satisfy none. I have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that
the best course is to satisfy one's own conscience and leave the world to form
its own judgment, favorable or otherwise.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi
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